PDA

View Full Version : Empire Army, first shot..



Nazguire
07-10-2005, 00:25
Oh ye Lord Lucifer said he'd be able to comment more if I posted a thread... so well here it is... ;)

This is my first attempt at an Empire army that can actually fight competitively. Keeping in mind that I don't play WFB as my first game (40k) so make of that as you will. I'm using an Arch-Lector as my Lord, for magic defence and also because I like the dude as well:p


Empire Army 2000



Lord

Kurt Von Draco

Arch Lector of Sigmar: 145

Heavy Armour: 6

Shield: 3

Barded Warhorse: 21

Two-Handed Warhammer: 4

Total: 179



Heroes



Sigis von Kursten

Warrior Priest: 95

Additional Warhammer: 4

Heavy Armour: 4

Total: 103



Johannes Hermann

Captain: 50

Full Plate Armour: 8

Shield: 2

Total: 60



Hierophant Artolemius

Battle Wizard: 60

Level 2: 35

Lore of Heavens

Dispel Scroll: 25

Barded Warhorse: 14

Total: 134



Core



Kursten Veterans

20x Spearmen: 120

Shields: 20

Musician: 5

Sergeant: 10

Standard Bearer: 10

Total: 165



Stalwart Regiment

18x Spearmen: 108

Shields: 18

Musician: 5

Sergeant: 10

Standard Bearer: 10

Total: 151



Johannes Regiment

20x Swordsmen: 140

Musician: 5

Duellist: 10

Standard Bearer: 10

Total: 115



Elfís Bane Regiment

16x Handgunners: 128



Grand Order of the Reiksguard

9x Inner Circle Reiksguard Knights: 207

Musician: 8

Standard Bearer: 16

Champion: 16

Inner Circle: 27

Total: 274



Special



Retired Jimbo

Cannon: 100



Old Bessie

Cannon: 100



Hellcannon Charger

Cannon: 100



Altdorf Core Guard

12x Greatswords: 144

Countís Champion: 12

Standard Bearer: 12

Musician: 6

Warbanner: 25

Total: 213



Rare

Reliable Wesley

Helblaster Volley Gun: 125



Maneater Glennís Gnoblars

10x Duellists: 50



Oh comment Lord Lucifer as you promised lol

Keller
07-10-2005, 03:40
I'm no Lord Lucifer, but I will offer my advice. It seems like you have a real nice Sigmar Army theme going, so feel free to ignore as much as you like if you feel it is against the theme. I know in my militia army I disregard a lot of "common sense" tactics and unit combitnations to keep with the flavor of the army. Anywho, here goes.

Firstly, I think you have done well with your character selection. By keeping magic items to a minimum, you can get more troopers, and that is the backbone of the Imperial army. However, you should keep your Arch Lector on foot. The Empire needs a solid general to stay with the foot soldiers in order to hold formation, not some heroic fighter leading a cavalry charge. Always focus on keeping your infantry wall inp place, using other units to weaken and crush units as they engage your main blocks of soldiers.

And I just can't ignore Heavens magic. This is just personal tastes, but I despise the lore and always look elsewhere. Most people over look supportive lores, such as Beasts, Metal, Light, and Shadows for more damaging lores. However, with the Imperial firepower at your disposal, the support magic works wonders for the Empire. I generally favor Beast or Light, but I have been known to use Metal quite a bit as well.

As for your infantry units, they are just too small. Empire needs to rely on combat resolution, meaning you need to make sure your units can maintain their rank bonus, and possibly outnumbering, for as along as possible. Units of 25 (or 24+char) work well in my experience, because you have to lose 7 men before you lose that precious +1 CR for your third rank. Larger units also allow for larger detachments; which leads me to my next point.

Take detachments on your main infantry units. Having that counter charge makes winning so much easier. A good opponent will know how to handle detachments, but a great Empire player will know how to keep them in effect. Even if your detachments should, for whatever reason, not be able to support their parent untis, it still gives you small disposable units that won't cause panic that you can use anywhere on the board. As for what to take for detachments, I prefer Halberdiers or Free Company Fighters. Free coms on parent units that have strength (halberds and greatswords), Halberdiers on units with plenty of attack (spearmen). Free Coms are your cheapest option, at a mere 5 points/model, but Halberds are still quite a bargain at 6 points/model. Shooting detachments are also of great use, if you are prepared to play defensivly. Archer units can be used as an effective skirmish screen to protect your units from shooting, where as handguns and crossbows can provide some nice firepower against units charging your main blocks. I'll give plenty more advice on that subject if you need it.

As much as I love Imperial guns, 3 cannons in a 2K game is a bit too much. Cannons can only kill a few models a shot, if you are good with them, but excel at taking out tougher targets. Cannons are probably the most versitile artillery unit in the game, being able to shoot at everything effectivly, but you shouldnt need 3 of them. If you are worried about enemy regiments, a mortar can reign terror on them. Its only S3 hits, but can kill an entire unit with it's 5" template (up to 25 hits on a unit of 20mm infantry). I prefer mortars over cannons, usually taking 2 mortars, 1 cannon, and a unit of Greatswords to max out my specials.

Anyone who knows me will tell you of my bitter hatred of the Helblaster. Lets just say I have never seen it pay off.... Its far too risky of a machine to use, but the potential that it has makes it an amazing psychological weapon against your enemy. Still, I feel the cost outweighs what you actually will gain from it, atleast most of the time, so I would suggest scrapping it. I only field mine when playing a themed Tech army, complete with a few Engineer characters.


All in all, I think you have a really great list here, especially considering you aren't an avid Fantasy player. Its definatly a strong list that can hold against a lot of people, but there is some room for improvement. It all depends on what you want to do with it, and what kind of theme you want to stick to.

Wintersdark
07-10-2005, 05:02
While I don't prefer mortars over cannons, Keller makes a good point. Cannons are very good at what they do, but three is excessive - you'll run out of viable targets for them very quickly. IMHO, big, terror causing monsters and hitty impact chariot things are a serious threat to empire armies, so you need at least one of them to help deal with those things.

However, while I'd never leave home without a Cannon, Mortars have their place too. I'd swap off two of your three cannons for Mortars. I don't think the mortars are necessary* like having a cannon is, but if you're looking for artillery support, raining mortar shells down on enemy infantry can make a mess out of their regiments very, very quickly. They aren't terribly acurrate, but two of them makes a big difference.

There's little to match the sheer joy in having multiple mortars firing at horde armies (you can't miss! yay!) or big units of Elven infantry (a single hit can net hundreds of VP's!).

* (I know, I know, you can make a good empire army without a cannon, but unless theres some fluff/theme reason not to take one, there is little reason NOT to take one!)

Nazguire
07-10-2005, 07:58
I'm no Lord Lucifer, but I will offer my advice. It seems like you have a real nice Sigmar Army theme going, so feel free to ignore as much as you like if you feel it is against the theme. I know in my militia army I disregard a lot of "common sense" tactics and unit combitnations to keep with the flavor of the army. Anywho, here goes.

Thanks, that was one of my first intentions! :D



Firstly, I think you have done well with your character selection. By keeping magic items to a minimum, you can get more troopers, and that is the backbone of the Imperial army. However, you should keep your Arch Lector on foot. The Empire needs a solid general to stay with the foot soldiers in order to hold formation, not some heroic fighter leading a cavalry charge. Always focus on keeping your infantry wall inp place, using other units to weaken and crush units as they engage your main blocks of soldiers.

Well to be honest, I didn't choose much if any magic items purely because they all seem...so ...bland and useless...only a few strike my interest as useful (Sword of Fate, Rod of Command, Armour of Meteoric Iron) the rest seem useless, but perhaps that's my inexperience showing.

My plan was to keep my Arch-Lector with the Reiksguard Knights, being Sigmarite and all. Should I mount the Captain instead?



And I just can't ignore Heavens magic. This is just personal tastes, but I despise the lore and always look elsewhere. Most people over look supportive lores, such as Beasts, Metal, Light, and Shadows for more damaging lores. However, with the Imperial firepower at your disposal, the support magic works wonders for the Empire. I generally favor Beast or Light, but I have been known to use Metal quite a bit as well.

I took Heavens magic as it looked zappy, but was seriously considering Metal or Life for a while. However, I'll probably take your advice and use the supporting Metal, seems great for neutering Knights (if it casts...)



As for your infantry units, they are just too small. Empire needs to rely on combat resolution, meaning you need to make sure your units can maintain their rank bonus, and possibly outnumbering, for as along as possible. Units of 25 (or 24+char) work well in my experience, because you have to lose 7 men before you lose that precious +1 CR for your third rank. Larger units also allow for larger detachments; which leads me to my next point.

So, another box of Empire soldiers then? I can live with that. Also before I move on, Halberdiers good? They seem alright on paper, but I hear regular complaints about them. Main opponent is High Elves if it helps out.



Take detachments on your main infantry units. Having that counter charge makes winning so much easier. A good opponent will know how to handle detachments, but a great Empire player will know how to keep them in effect. Even if your detachments should, for whatever reason, not be able to support their parent untis, it still gives you small disposable units that won't cause panic that you can use anywhere on the board. As for what to take for detachments, I prefer Halberdiers or Free Company Fighters. Free coms on parent units that have strength (halberds and greatswords), Halberdiers on units with plenty of attack (spearmen). Free Coms are your cheapest option, at a mere 5 points/model, but Halberds are still quite a bargain at 6 points/model. Shooting detachments are also of great use, if you are prepared to play defensivly. Archer units can be used as an effective skirmish screen to protect your units from shooting, where as handguns and crossbows can provide some nice firepower against units charging your main blocks. I'll give plenty more advice on that subject if you need it.

Please give me plenty of advice lol I need it. For my greatswords and spearmen I was probably going to give them detachments of handgunners and/or spearmen, but I'll probably use handgunners and/or halberdiers after what you said.



As much as I love Imperial guns, 3 cannons in a 2K game is a bit too much. Cannons can only kill a few models a shot, if you are good with them, but excel at taking out tougher targets. Cannons are probably the most versitile artillery unit in the game, being able to shoot at everything effectivly, but you shouldnt need 3 of them. If you are worried about enemy regiments, a mortar can reign terror on them. Its only S3 hits, but can kill an entire unit with it's 5" template (up to 25 hits on a unit of 20mm infantry). I prefer mortars over cannons, usually taking 2 mortars, 1 cannon, and a unit of Greatswords to max out my specials.

I found out 3 was too much after my last game, at least one would always have no sight, while the Helblaster would have absolutely no sight at all or viable targets...I'll probably just dump a cannon and use the points for more men.



All in all, I think you have a really great list here, especially considering you aren't an avid Fantasy player. Its definatly a strong list that can hold against a lot of people, but there is some room for improvement. It all depends on what you want to do with it, and what kind of theme you want to stick to.

Cheers! I would like to stick to the Sigmarite theme thingy, but still be able to play competitively. Main opponents are High Elves and Wood Elves (urk...) so pointers against them would be appreciated.

Ozorik
07-10-2005, 12:17
Halberdiers are ok but swordsmen are better. Ive never had much luck with spearmen though. Detachments are best formed from free company or halberdiers as these have the highest damage potential.

A good Empire tactic is to use large core infantry blocks (at least 25+) with a melee detachment and a detachment of archers. The archers deploy in front of the regiment and take any shooting hits and disrupt enemy chargers while the melee detachment counter charges. Good opponents get wise to this however and come up with counter measures but against someone who doesnt know Empire armies it can be devastating.

I would use a block of spearmen and a block of swordsmen with detachments. One lead by the arch lector and the other lead by the captain (with a halberd as he will wound elves on a 2+ then). The other warrior priest gets himself a warhorse, a great weapon and van horstmans speculum and joins the knights.

The 2 large infantry blocks make a formidible centre while the knights and warrior priest can do bad thinsg to nearly anything. Try to engage the enemy general with your knights and challenge him with your Preist. Van horstmans will make it very likly that you can kill him or at least tie him up for a while. While the character is tied up the knights generally do enough damage to win combats.

My own warrior priest has killed 3 generals, 4 heros, 5 champions and was killed once in my last 6 games. Not bad for a 142 point character.

If the wood elf player takes a tree man or the high elf takes a lot of knights then take cannon but if not then mortars are probably more useful.

Crazy Harborc
07-10-2005, 19:13
A way to help your spears survive being charged is to form them up 6 or 7 across per rank. USE the advantages given by the Special Detachment rules. IMHO, Empire armies are about parent units of 20 plus bodies with two detachments of 10 each (swordsmen usually).

I prefer spears (my Empire units usually fight a round two) for the parent units. Having one detachment be for HtH and one of archers, works very well.

Always remember to keep those unit's detachments back an inch or more. Smart opponents will charge the detachments first, if your moving them puts them even with their parent unit.

Nazguire
07-10-2005, 22:19
I would use a block of spearmen and a block of swordsmen with detachments. One lead by the arch lector and the other lead by the captain (with a halberd as he will wound elves on a 2+ then). The other warrior priest gets himself a warhorse, a great weapon and van horstmans speculum and joins the knights.




Ok shall we work out the Characters with me all in one hit please?

Lord

Kurt Von Draco
Arch Lector of Sigmar: 145
Heavy Armour: 6
Shield: 3
Barded Warhorse: 21
Two-Handed Warhammer: 4
Total: 179

Heroes
Sigis von Kursten
Warrior Priest: 95
Additional Warhammer: 4
Heavy Armour: 4
Total: 103

Johannes Hermann
Captain: 50
Full Plate Armour: 8
Shield: 2
Total: 60

Hierophant Artolemius
Battle Wizard: 60
Level 2: 35
Lore of Heavens
Dispel Scroll: 25
Barded Warhorse: 14
Total: 134

Okidokie, could you all help me work out what we want with these fellas ?

Wintersdark
07-10-2005, 22:30
I always prefered Spearmen for my parent units too. Swordsmen are more solid, but I liked to field spearmen 6-7 wide, and supported them with Free Company detachments (ranked 3x3 or 4x2 for maneuverability.

I liked the scads of attacks, though there is a solid arguement for Swordsmen as a parent unit. Both with higher WS and a better armour save, they will give up less combat res to wounds.

Halberds are nice, but free company detachments are cheaper, and better. 2 S3 attacks are better in almost every circumstance - there are a couple situations where they are equal, but they are never worse. Thus, cheaper is the way to go :)

Lord Lucifer
09-10-2005, 01:23
I have to live up to expectations?
Crap :(


Going off your first list-
First things first
Your Arch-Lector has roughly the same combat ability as your Captain, correct?
3 attacks at WS5 and S4.
The difference between the two is your ArchLector has the higher leadership, and can confer this leadership to anyone within 12", so the Arch-Lector and the Captain can swap places without hindering the combat effectiveness of the Knights, but with the effect of bolstering the staying power of your infantry (several units)
To help that, I'd give the Arch-Lector the Armour of Meteoric Iron, just to give him a bit of endurance in combat and keep him in the fight longer.

Dropping the Heavy Armour, Shield, and Barded Warhorse from the Lector, and giving the Captain a Barded Warhorse, saves you about 16 points, so freeing up 14 points from elsewhere in the list to afford the Armour of Meteoric Iron is pretty easy.

Oh, and for theme... the Reiksgard are the personal guard of the Emperor and his family, they're not actually a religious order (although members within the ranks could very well hold strong religious convictions), so the Arch-Lector has no more reason to accompany them than he would the rest of the army.


For single wizards I rarely bother giving them mounts, just don't see it as worth the 14pts. But I could simply be persuaded of that by my vast horde of unmounted Wizard figures in my collection ;)
Oooh! And if you're calling him a Heirophant, you really should be using the Lore of Light, as that's the college whose practitioners are commonly named Heirophants. That and it's slightly safer and more ritualised than the other more reckless colleges ;)


The infantry regiments could stand to be a fair bit bigger. The longer they retain their rank bonus the better they do in combat. They're not exactly there to cause damage, it goes more by the science of combat resolution than by sheer killing power for these chaps.


With the handgunners, I'd split them up.
16 is hard to use effectively, but a unit of ten and a detachment of 6 may work easier.
Or just dropping 6 for the points it'll free up

My feelings on Knights is they work better as small units to hit flanks and manouevre for favourable combat situations. Large blocks are unwieldy and expensive, especially when accompanied by a character, and just one lucky flank charge against them could net the enemy a LOT of victory points and severely hinder your ability to kill things.
I would split the unit in two, two units of 5
You can cover this easily in the points by dropping Inner Circle status (it's not strictly necessary to be honest) on both units. But if you choose to keep IC for one unit, that's still 12 points saved from four of the knights becoming a second unit and therefore not being elligeable for the IC upgrade.
One of the units created I'd probably leave a Standard off, as it hands over 100VP, and if the two units do combined charges it becomes redundant anyway.

The three cannons overstep things. It's a significant investment in points, and isn't gauranteed of making its points back unless you're presented with enough appropriate targets (Monsters, enemy artillery, chariots, Knights lined up perfectly...). War Machines are deadly but fragile, all you need is a Panic Test to lose the crew.
Consider swapping one or more of the cannons out for different units, such as a Mortar for thinning out enemy ranks (I love big templates), or perhaps more useful, a unit of Pistoliers.
The utility of these fast cavalry regiments cannot be stated often enough!

If you want to make things especially heavily-themed for these lads, make them from appropriate Militia pieces, and convert some hand-bows (hand-held crossbows), to represent mounted Witch Hunters


Although, in a Sigmarite-themed army, I'm struggling to see how you can, with clear conscience, use a unit of Greenskinned duellists!
Sigmar Goblinhammer (as Heldenhammer traditionally translated into, owing to his destruction of the Goblinoids) would surely abandon you!
Pick up some Witch Hunters from the Mordheim range, I think that's about the only Specialist Games range that Aussie G.W. Mail Order stocks so you should be lucky there, to represent the duellists.




How do you commonly run the army?
Deployment, game-plan etc.?

Nazguire
09-10-2005, 07:22
I have to live up to expectations?
Crap :(
Yes...yes you do :D



Going off your first list-
First things first
Your Arch-Lector has roughly the same combat ability as your Captain, correct?
3 attacks at WS5 and S4.
The difference between the two is your ArchLector has the higher leadership, and can confer this leadership to anyone within 12", so the Arch-Lector and the Captain can swap places without hindering the combat effectiveness of the Knights, but with the effect of bolstering the staying power of your infantry (several units)
To help that, I'd give the Arch-Lector the Armour of Meteoric Iron, just to give him a bit of endurance in combat and keep him in the fight longer.

Good points about that yes I agree, mounted Captain is the way to go for a stabilised battle line. Shall I just give the Captain a great weapon? Or a magical weapon such as the Sword of Fate?



Oh, and for theme... the Reiksgard are the personal guard of the Emperor and his family, they're not actually a religious order (although members within the ranks could very well hold strong religious convictions), so the Arch-Lector has no more reason to accompany them than he would the rest of the army.

Ahh, fluff loopholes, thanks, that clears my conscious just a teeny bit.



For single wizards I rarely bother giving them mounts, just don't see it as worth the 14pts. But I could simply be persuaded of that by my vast horde of unmounted Wizard figures in my collection Oooh! And if you're calling him a Heirophant, you really should be using the Lore of Light, as that's the college whose practitioners are commonly named Heirophants. That and it's slightly safer and more ritualised than the other more reckless colleges

I gave him a mount so he could nip around the field and stay out of a charge/shooting range. I called him Heirophant because I thought that the Wizards that practised the Lore of Heavens were called that. But Hell, I will just give him Lore of Light ;)



The infantry regiments could stand to be a fair bit bigger. The longer they retain their rank bonus the better they do in combat. They're not exactly there to cause damage, it goes more by the science of combat resolution than by sheer killing power for these chaps.

Hmmm, I thought that as well at first, so I'll probably bulk up the regiments and/or bring a unit of Halbediers to use as detachments.




With the handgunners, I'd split them up.
16 is hard to use effectively, but a unit of ten and a detachment of 6 may work easier.
Or just dropping 6 for the points it'll free up

Ok, I'll try that out, God knows if they run, all 16 won't be fleeing. What unit should I use the detachment on ?



My feelings on Knights is they work better as small units to hit flanks and manouevre for favourable combat situations. Large blocks are unwieldy and expensive, especially when accompanied by a character, and just one lucky flank charge against them could net the enemy a LOT of victory points and severely hinder your ability to kill things.
I would split the unit in two, two units of 5
You can cover this easily in the points by dropping Inner Circle status (it's not strictly necessary to be honest) on both units. But if you choose to keep IC for one unit, that's still 12 points saved from four of the knights becoming a second unit and therefore not being elligeable for the IC upgrade.
One of the units created I'd probably leave a Standard off, as it hands over 100VP, and if the two units do combined charges it becomes redundant anyway.

Ok, standard gone check. Inner Circle...gone...hmmm...check...that frees up a few points. Last game I rolled really badly against Dragon Princes lead by a Commander, and as such they killed one, ran and were run down. 274 VP's down the drain, not including Arch-Lector. :eek: This seems far more practicle.



The three cannons overstep things. It's a significant investment in points, and isn't gauranteed of making its points back unless you're presented with enough appropriate targets (Monsters, enemy artillery, chariots, Knights lined up perfectly...). War Machines are deadly but fragile, all you need is a Panic Test to lose the crew.
Consider swapping one or more of the cannons out for different units, such as a Mortar for thinning out enemy ranks (I love big templates), or perhaps more useful, a unit of Pistoliers.
The utility of these fast cavalry regiments cannot be stated often enough!

I agree, as last game one cannon didn't have much good targets, while the Helblaster had none at all for 4 turns. I'll drop one and make it up with something else, like more State Troops.



Although, in a Sigmarite-themed army, I'm struggling to see how you can, with clear conscience, use a unit of Greenskinned duellists!
Sigmar Goblinhammer (as Heldenhammer traditionally translated into, owing to his destruction of the Goblinoids) would surely abandon you!
Pick up some Witch Hunters from the Mordheim range, I think that's about the only Specialist Games range that Aussie G.W. Mail Order stocks so you should be lucky there, to represent the duellists.


Truth be told, I did that because I had no other models handy and I have an Ogre Maneater I plan to use. However I see your point and it is on my agenda anyway to change them to something more...intimidating and in theme.

Got any ideas how to use and equip Duellists properly?




How do you commonly run the army?
Deployment, game-plan etc.?

Well, I put my Duellists up the flank, my main infantry units in the center, supported by artillery interspersed between each regiment to get a good line of sight, and have my Reiksguard go zooming up the other flank. The Helblaster is on the flank as well, supporting the Duellists, but I now know this wasn't a wise idea as the Helblaster didn't have an abundance of targets as nothing was game to come down that flank.
I have my characters (asides from the character in the Knights) in the center to lend a fighting hand, and in the very center are the Handgunners.

Zoat
09-10-2005, 08:24
Duellists get a real boost when carrying pistols! At 4 pts each you get a ranged attack, a respectable stand and shoot, and of course an extra S4 -2AS attack in the first round of combat!

For independant flanking action a musician can be worth the points. It has won me more combats than I can remember!

But now I've doubled the cost to 100! :)

Lord Lucifer
09-10-2005, 09:14
Yes...yes you do :D



Good points about that yes I agree, mounted Captain is the way to go for a stabilised battle line. Shall I just give the Captain a great weapon? Or a magical weapon such as the Sword of Fate?
With mounted captains, pretty much anything goes.
However, a Great Weapon might not be necessary, nor a magic item.
Ideally you want your Knights (and therefore mounted Captain) in combat for one round per target, hopefully breaking them on the charge rather than relying on attrition.
If you entertain some thoughts of optimism, just giving him Full Plate, a Shield, and a Lance is easily enough to make him impressive in combat
The Sword of Fate is only worth it to go Character or Monster hunting, and that ties up a unit of Knights that prove remarkably less resilient to S6 Monsters and Magic/Great Weapon endowed Characters. The best (i.e. meanest) use for a Sword of Fate is to give to a disposable Captain on Pegasus, to go and munch the biggest, baddest target on the table, then fly around making a nuisance of himself (or, alternatively, to give to an Elector on Griffon, and Terrify the bejeezes out of the enemy lines)




I gave him a mount so he could nip around the field and stay out of a charge/shooting range. I called him Heirophant because I thought that the Wizards that practised the Lore of Heavens were called that. But Hell, I will just give him Lore of Light
Useful enough I guess, fair call :)



Hmmm, I thought that as well at first, so I'll probably bulk up the regiments and/or bring a unit of Halbediers to use as detachments.
As the others have already stated, numbers help.
At a pinch, 20 arranged 4-wide and 5-deep can last a while, but really it's better to take 25 men in a 5-by-5 formation to give a better front arc to prevent easy flank charges
And the Detachments are incredibly useful. As noted, you don't win by bludgeoning the enemy, you do it by racking up combat reso. Denying the enemy a Rank Bonus whilst ensuring you retain yours goes a long, long way towards helping you out





Ok, I'll try that out, God knows if they run, all 16 won't be fleeing. What unit should I use the detachment on ?
Make them a detachment of the unit in your army least likely to move, so they can stay in detachment range longer



Ok, standard gone check. Inner Circle...gone...hmmm...check...that frees up a few points. Last game I rolled really badly against Dragon Princes lead by a Commander, and as such they killed one, ran and were run down. 274 VP's down the drain, not including Arch-Lector. This seems far more practicle.
It might be worth it to keep a standard in the unit the Captain joins, as you'll have a chance of crushing certain medium-lightweight enemy units (other medium to heavy cavalry, chariots, smaller elite infantry, etc) where the extra combat reso would help. But if you've got more than one knight unit in the army, and they work close to each other, there's no real need to give every unit a standard.



I agree, as last game one cannon didn't have much good targets, while the Helblaster had none at all for 4 turns. I'll drop one and make it up with something else, like more State Troops.
The Helblaster doesn't need to shoot even once in the game in order to be a useful weapon, so long as you can use it as a psychological weapon to deny the enemy free reign of the movement phase.
If the enemy doesn't approach the flank the Helblaster is on, that's one area of the table you won't have to worry about a flanking manouevre coming from.
Although it can cause a lot of damage under the right circumstances (i.e. it's being used by someone that isn't either me, or apparently lord Keller), so sitting it closer to the centre of a flank (one quarter the way across the table) in a forward position may help it see more action.



Truth be told, I did that because I had no other models handy and I have an Ogre Maneater I plan to use. However I see your point and it is on my agenda anyway to change them to something more...intimidating and in theme.

Got any ideas how to use and equip Duellists properly?
As Zoat said, Pistols are your friend. It gives the duellists something to do outside of combat, so if you use them for harrassment purposes it can compel the enemy to actively react to them (S4 -2 save modifier tends to sting), and it really gives you an edge against the more frustrating enemy utility units like MSU infantry formations (like detachments), Fast Cavalry, skirmishers, and if you're extremely lucky, Knights




Well, I put my Duellists up the flank, my main infantry units in the center, supported by artillery interspersed between each regiment to get a good line of sight, and have my Reiksguard go zooming up the other flank. The Helblaster is on the flank as well, supporting the Duellists, but I now know this wasn't a wise idea as the Helblaster didn't have an abundance of targets as nothing was game to come down that flank.
I have my characters (asides from the character in the Knights) in the center to lend a fighting hand, and in the very center are the Handgunners.
Do you find the Handgunners tend to break-up your line a bit or weaken it?
Not sure, if the enemy focuses on that point and blows through it, it can prove incredibly problematic... how often do you have a lovely hill to stand on?

It sounds like the standard fare I go with really.
I usually group my token Handgunner regiment on the flank with the Helblaster if I take one... missile units are soft, juicy targets worth an unfortunately large amount of points, and with the Helblaster threatening anyone that advances up the flank, it usually gives them second thoughts on picking on the Poor Bloody (ballistic) Infantry.
Further to that, the combination of deadly 24" ranged handguns with deadly 24" ranged Helblaster means most units moving through the region tend to take a bit of a peppering with musket-shot and fragmentation round.

Most importantly, they are death incarnate for all Fast Cavalry, and manage to frighten Heavy Cavalry.
Usually my infantry advances up the centre, and my cavalry and heavy hitters take the opposite flank, so enemy cavalry present a major threat if left unchecked.

Keller
09-10-2005, 16:03
Since others have commented so well on most things, I will just cover detachments. As any Imperial general will tell you, detachments are key to winning. If you cannot keep your detachments around to support your main blocks, you are going to be swept into combats you can't easily win. Simple men cannot go toe-to-toe with the big nasties of the world.
Keep in mind that while detachments are designed to work with the parent units, they do not have to stay with them. You may send a detachment out on its own to have an independent unit that does not cause panic; a nice way to get disposable small units that won't threaten your army.

Each state infantry unit is allowed to have up to two detachments. The size of the detachment is dependent on the size of the parent unit, but given the need for large main blocks, detachments could easily be made up to 10 or 12 men. Generally 1 combat detachment is enough per parent unit, but having back up units and the added boost of missile troops is something to consider as well.

There are two types of detachments: combat and missile. Combat troops are there to counter or support charge for their parent units, knocking the +3 res the enemy would have for ranks right off the table. Missile units are a little more difficult to use, as their stand and fire can only do so much to help the parent, although they do have their uses.

Combat Detachments:
Melee detachments need to stay near the parent, but trailing behind just a bit. You have to set up so that the enemy must charge the parent, or any competent enemy will take out the detachments first, leaving you high and dry. A good way to protect your units is to leave them about 1" behind the front of the parent unit, while staying as close to the unit as possible. Learning to keep your detachments in tact can be tricky, but its usually not too hard once you get used to thinking about them.
As for the size of a detachment, that is rather dependent on what you want to do with them. You need to make sure you have atleast 5 men when you counter charge, or they cannot do their job of negating ranks. Many people advocate using 8 men in a 4x2 formation, as it allows you to soak up 3 casualties from missile fire, while still staying cheap. I prefer larger detachments of 12 men in 6x2 or 4x3 formation. The larger size is more expensive, but it allows the unit to soak up a lot of fire and still remain effective and have 6 men able to attack against ranked units or have a 2 rank bonus if the detachment fights w/o its parent (depending on the formation).

Free Company Fighters: These guys are widely excepted as the best choice for a detachment. They are the cheapest option (5 points/model), have 2 attacks each, and fit the fluff perfectly. However they are the only melee detachment to not come with any armor. Their cheap cost makes them the best melee unit to screen the parent from enemy fire, although its best used as a desperation tactic. If you want a missile screen, a missile unit can be more effective at a slightly higher cost. I generally recomend them for parent units that have a strong attack (halberdiers and greatswords), so that you get a mix of strength and plenty of attacks. However, a unit of spearmen with Free Com detachment can make for a bucketload of dice, so it is worth considering them as well.

Halberdiers: These are one of my favorite detachments to take. They are still reasonably cheap at 6 points/model, and the increased strength can be a big help against tougher armies. I generally recomend these for fighting along spearmen, and possibly swordsmen. Spearmen get a lot of attacks, but might have trouble getting wounds against high toughness or heavy army, where the S4 of the halberds has a little easier time. I would avoid taking them on Greatsword or Halberd units, unless you are fighting an army where you need to have high strength (such as Ogres, Minotaurs, lots of monsters, etc).

Spearmen: The worst detachment option. Spears only work when stationary, and the whole point of a detachment is to charge. The added rank attack could be helpful if you don't break the enemy unit, but since the goal is to do that, these guys are a bad choice. Even if you plan on having the spearmen fight on their own, being a small unit will make them lose their ranked attack rather quickly and nulify the spears. Only take these if you want to live up to a theme or just really like spearmen.

Swordsmen: Often considered the best by some, good by most others, I don't care for them. While they get the best equipment and stats, they are just too pricey for my tastes. Swordsmen are better at reducing wounds taken, not wounds delt. Not taking wounds means you won't give the enemy as much combat res, as well as having your detachment around longer to negate ranks. Swordsmen are probably your most durible unit, especially if you want to send them out from the parent, but I prefer more offensive units to deal wounds, rather than avoid taking them. Swordsmen will work well with any parent unit, especially other Swordsmen or Greatswordsmen.


Missile Detachments:
Missile detachments are quite handy, even if they do not look so at first glance. The special rule missile units get as detachments is that they may stand and fire at units charging the parent. While this is a bit handy, it is usually not very prectical unless you are playing defensively and waiting for the enemy to come to you; missile units cannot keep up with the line while still firing. These detachments are better used as screens, or as a way to get small units of men who can fire between gaps in the line, being far more manuverable than large independently bought units.

Archers: Archers are a great detachment, being highly mobile skirmishers. They are the best unit to use as screens for your parent unit, as the skirmishing rule makes them harder to be hit by most ranged attacks. Their mobility allows them walk and fire, allowing you to move your line slowly and still use your bows. Their ability to move in any direction allows them to quickly get out of the way when you are ready to commit your fighting block to the enemy, and of course stand and fire against the enemy when they do charge. These abilities make the archer the best all around missile detachment, if you want to keep near an advancing line of troops.

Crossbowmen & Handgunners: I am going to group these together, simply because they are so similar. These units provide a nice punch with S4 missiles, at the cost of being move OR fire. You can only use these in support of the paren unit in one of two ways: (1)play denfenivly, parking your line while the detachments (and other units) fire on the enemy as they approach, standing and shooting when the parent or they themeselves are charged. (2) Alternate between shooting and marching. You will get half as many shots in, but be able to stand and fire when charges are made. The better way to use these detachments is to buy small 5-8 man units to be used away from the parent. Make use of the smaller size to find gaps between your main units to fire through. Large units of missile troops can find trouble finding space to deploy, espeically when there are no hills; detachments allow you to have missile troops who suffer less of a problem form this, although can't dish out as much damage. As for guns or crossbows, its largely personal preference. Both hit at S4, but the bows trade the extra -1AS for an extra 6" range. Both have their place, so its really up to you as to what you want.

*Keep in mind that you don't have to sit in your deployment zone to play defensively. You can move your line forward for a turn or two before setting up to await the enemy charges. You will also want to have some other units, such as cavalry, warmachines, etc. that you can use in the mean time to get into position and blast the enemy.

Detachments are a great asset to the Empire. Making good use of them will make things much easier for you, but they are not always easy to use. You have a lot of options in selecting them, and even more once you hit the table. Good opponents will know the value of detachments and try to take them out, good Empire generals will know how to protect them as best they can, and know when to sacrifice them.



[...]
Although it can cause a lot of damage under the right circumstances (i.e. it's being used by someone that isn't either me, or apparently lord Keller), so sitting it closer to the centre of a flank (one quarter the way across the table) in a forward position may help it see more action.

Oh you have no idea. I have updated my old sig regarding that cursed machine, just so you can see what I mean.

Out of the 10 games that I have fielded my HelBlaster Volley Gun, 6 times it exploded on the first barrel, once it exploded on the second barrel after the first was a dud, once it was killed before it fired, and twice it actually fired but inflicted less than 3 wounds before being destroyed the following turn. Total damage inflicted: 3 wounds. # of Helblasters needed to inflict 1 wound: 4.

Its hard to instil fear in an enemy when they know you have a track record like that. I still take them in my Imperial Engineer army, but its more for theme purposes. And hell, since it is garenteed to blow itself up, it lessens my chance of blowing up my beloved cannons and mortars. Afterall, I can only roll so many misfires... unless I have more Helblasters, then I can do it all day long.

Wintersdark
09-10-2005, 16:28
Couple more Empire tips, from back in my Empire playing days.

Helblaster Volleygun:
Generally, don't bother firing it in turn one unless you KNOW you're going to lose it in turn two. Don't waste your time firing at long range, because Helblasters rarely survive many turns of firing - often, they only work for ONE turn. Don't hesitate to move it forward with your infantry, and hold off firing it until you get a worthwhile target.

Work from the assumtion that your helblaster will only fire once, so make sure you're getting a shot that will do some worthwhile damage. Just don't hesitate too long - like I said, if you know you'll lose it, then unload at whatever happens to be nearby. Better something than nothing!

You may get several rounds of firing, but my experience has shown (nothing to do with odds/etc, but rather just personal experience) that you rarely get more than one shot, and thus should never plan on getting more but rather look at it as a pleasant suprise when the helblaster actually manages to fire without mangling itself.

Detachments: All of what Keller said is bang on, but there are a couple quick points to make.

Archer detachments (often just little ones) are fantastic troops to simply run forward and destract your opponent with, march block and hide in terrain. 5 or 7 or so of them work very well that way, and provide a number of useful options for you. If they can get packed nicely into terrain, they are very difficult for many armies to root out without tasking a FAR more expensive unit over a number of turns. If your opponent ignores them, you've got a small firing position to pester him from, and a unit that while not terribly capable in combat, is able to tie up war machine crews (you start combat with a +1 outnumber bonus and more attacks) - you may not kill them quickly, but you'll keep them from firing. Same idea with enemy wizards. Pin em down in combat! A pretty good deal for, what, 35-50 pts or so.

Also, risky but possible, you can use them to flank/rear charge too. They won't negate ranks, but if enough survive you'll at least get a flank/rear bonus.

best of all, they are 100% expendable, not causing panic if(when) they die.

Also.... Free company fighters hit as hard as or harder than halberdiers in EVERY situation, regardless of enemy toughness/save. 2 S3 attacks beats 1 S4 attack.